University hosts Society of Women Engineers conference

The University hosted this year’s Society of Women Engineers’ Region H Conference.

The conference, which was held last Friday through Sunday, encourages women to pursue a career in engineering.

Vicky Wierec, conference director and senior in Engineering, said planning for the event began two years ago.

She said she believes there is not enough encouragement for young women to enter the field of engineering.

“It’s important because it’s amazing how many young women aren’t even persuaded to join engineering,” she added.

Kristina Kremer, president of the U of I Society of Women Engineers and junior in Engineering, said one of the main goals of the society is to help women stick with engineering by providing support and mentoring them.

The conference provided women with a career fair, networking lunch and opportunities to learn from workshops and keynote speakers.

Wierec said it is helpful for women in engineering to see what other women in the field have been able to accomplished and what leadership roles they have taken on.

“It’s important to see what other women are doing with the same academic pursuits,” she said.

During the career fair, representatives from different companies accepted resumes and looked to hire for full-time positions or for internships.

Wierec said about 500 collegiates, 75 to 100 professionals and 100 corporate sponsors attended the conference.

Jessica Forrest, third-year student studying biomedical engineering at Michigan Technological University, said her main reason for attending the conference was networking.

She said she found the information sessions the most helpful aspect of the conference.

She said they gave helpful advice about the “work field and how it compares to being in school.”